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J Hepatol. 2012 Aug;57(2):421-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2012.01.031. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Primovist, Eovist: what to expect?

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Laboratoire d'Imagerie Physiologique et Moléculaire de l'Abdomen et Service de Radiologie, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, INSERM UMR 773, Hôpitaux Universitaires Paris Nord Val de Seine, Beaujon, Clichy, France.


Gadolinium ethoxybenzyl dimeglumine (Gd-EOB-DTPA, Primovist in Europe and Eovist in the USA) is a liver-specific magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent that has up to 50% hepatobiliary excretion in the normal liver. After intravenous injection, Gd-EOB-DTPA distributes into the vascular and extravascular spaces during the arterial, portal venous and late dynamic phases, and progressively into the hepatocytes and bile ducts during the hepatobiliary phase. The hepatocyte uptake of Gd-EOB-DTPA mainly occurs via the organic anion transporter polypeptides OATP1B1 and B3 located at the sinusoidal membrane and biliary excretion via the multidrug resistance-associated proteins MRP2 at the canalicular membrane. Because of these characteristics, Gd-EOB-DTPA behaves similarly to non-specific gadolinium chelates during the dynamic phases, and adds substantial information during the hepatobiliary phase, improving the detection and characterization of focal liver lesions and diffuse liver disease. This information is particularly relevant for the detection of metastases, and for the detection and characterization of nodular lesions in liver cirrhosis, including early hepatocellular carcinomas. Finally, GD-EOB-DTPA-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging may provide quantitative assessment regarding liver perfusion and hepatocyte function in diffuse liver diseases. The full potential of GD-EOB-DTPA-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging has to be established further. It is already clear that GD-EOB-DTPA-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging provides anatomic and functional information in the setting of focal and diffuse liver disease that is unattainable with magnetic resonance imaging enhanced with non-specific contrast agents.

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